Notes: Holtz hoping for better competition at QB
Here's what Skip Holtz had to say (video link) about his team's second scrimmage, which was not open to the media on Saturday afternoon. First-teamers got around 25 plays in, while the second- and third-string units got 30-40 plays each.
First thing to address is Holtz's disappointment at lack of competition for both quarterback jobs -- sophomore Bobby Eveld isn't pushing starter B.J Daniels, and true freshman Matt Floyd isn't giving Eveld a run for the backup job.
"Bobby does some really good things. He's understanding the offense better and better," Holtz said. "I don't think he threw the ball as accurately as I'd like to see him throw it. I think Matt Floyd kind of showed up as a freshman today. He's very talented but he is a true freshman. He's a little like what B.J. was going through a year ago. You're throwing an awful lot at him. Right now, he's not ready to play. If he were to play, you'd have to shrink your offense way down and give him a chance to do a very limited number of things."
Floyd enrolled in January, giving him a full spring to get acclimated to college life and start learning USF's offense, but he hasn't done so at enough of a pace to avoid a redshirt this fall.
"We really came in hoping he could push Bobby, but right now, B.J. did a nice job today. B.J. is your 1 quarterback," he said. "Right now, I'd like to see Bobby push him. I'd like to see Matt push Bobby, but right now, I don't think either one of those two things are happening like I was hoping they would."
-- USF continues to have a slew of mild injuries, only enough to sideline players a few days, but enough to disrupt the continuity of practice.
Redshirt freshman Spencer Boyd, who Holtz said was making a case to be the No. 3 cornerback, tweaked his knee in practice, so he's out 4-5 days. Walk-on Ernie Tabuteau has been limited by back spasms but pushed through it Saturday and impressed Holtz. Here's a doozy:
"They'll be healthy as commercials for a dairy product come next week, but we've got to get ready this week. We've got to get ready now," Holtz said.
Other mild injuries -- freshman cornerback Kenneth Durden was held out and should be out a few days, freshman fullback Tye Turner and freshman offensive lineman Thor Jozwiak have shoulder injuries, as does redshirt freshman Tony Kibler, battling for a second-team guard spot, and sophomore defensive tackle Luke Sager, fighting to stay on the two-deep. Cornerback George Baker has been slowed by a groin injury.
"It's frustrating -- it seems as soon as a guy starts to make strides and getting himself into the mix, you've got a two- or three-day nick," he said. "We haven't had that many serious injuries. ... but it's the number of small, 1-2-3-day type of injuries that's really starting to get me frustrated as a coach, because we can't build what we're trying to build."
-- Tough break for USF, in that not long after Holtz took the field for Fan Fest at Raymond James Stadium, heavy rains hit the area and didn't go away until the two-hour window had ended. USF did a good job of moving the autograph lines to dry areas around the stadium's bottom level, with hundreds of fans waiting in line for Holtz and a long line for B.J. Daniels as well.
-- On not being able to find depth everywhere: "I thought there were a lot of awfully encouraging things. I thought there were some very discouraging things as well. I didn't think our 2 offense performed as well as I'd like them to. I don't think we've made the strides we need to make in order to play a football game, with our 2s. One of the big things we're trying to get out of camp was our depth. That was more important to me than anything else. We've made some strides. Some guys have stepped up. Some guys played really well today. ... I didn't feel overall that we made the strides we need to play at that elite level right out of the chute."
-- Asked about big plays: "Lindsey Lamar had a big play around one of the ends, got tripped up at the ends. When our 3 offense went against our 2s, (walk-on) J.J. Peterson split one ... Ernie Tabuteau ran him down." ... Sterling Griffin said redshirt freshman receiver Deonte Welch had a touchdown grab. ... Senior cornerback Quenton Washington had an interception. ... Holtz said speedy receiver Derrick Hopkins, getting a look on kickoff returns, "did a really nice job today." ... Perhaps channeling his South Carolina days, Holtz called Sterling Griffin "Sterling Sharpe." Hey, it wasn't Demi Moore.
-- Unhappy with bad throws on deep balls: "To overthrow a deep ball by 5 yards is absolutely not very smart. You're sitting here as a coach, at least you get an evaluation: I know our quarterbacks can throw it farther than our receivers can run. That doesn't help us evaluate our team. I'm trying to find out if a receiver can go up and get it in a 1-on-1 situation, we're dropping back and seeing if we can throw it out of the stadium."
-- With injuries mounting elsewhere, quarterbacks wore red non-contact jerseys Saturday. "We weren't looking to see how many hits they could take," Holtz said. First-team offense went twice into red zone but fumbled a snap on one drive and had a penalty on another, settling for field goals.